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Police should not be partisan

Police boss Martins Okoth Ochola

Police boss Martins Okoth Ochola

The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda bestows on Uganda a character of a free democratic society.

And it shores up institutions, which guarantee a democratic electoral process. We are a population of about 40 million, with only about 15 million registered voters –but usually about seven million voters turn out to cast their ballot for president and members of parliament.

The law and Constitution guarantee freedom of choice. In order for competing candidates to market their policies and persons, they ought to do consultations – preliminary meetings with likely voters intended to determine the suitability or electability of a candidate.

The Kyadando East Member of Parliament, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine, who is also the leader the People Power Movement, has already declared his intention to compete with President Yoweri Museveni in the 2021 presidential race.

He has therefore as required by the electoral laws, and laws governing public order management informed the Electoral Commission and Police about his intended consultation meetings. On Monday, Bob Wine’s inaugural consultative meeting in Kasangati was cancelled by police.

Kasangati District Police Commander, Edson Muhangi claimed, he cancelled the meeting because Bobi Wine had violated section 10 of the Public Order Management Act (POMA). Police also claimed the candidate had not fulfilled other conditions such as ensuring he has sniffer dogs, an ambulance, evacuation and rescue services, informing the local leaders and venue owners!

Unfortunately, in an effort to appear as if they are implementing the law to the letter, Police have miserably exposed themselves as partisan.

There are so many instances where the National Resistance Movement (NRM) politicians have flouted POMA, but their meetings have not been disrupted; police have chosen to play deaf and blind to such events. And this is particularly confusing given that the force is led by a career police officer, Okoth Martins Ochola who is well versed with global standards of policing.

During the reign of General Kale Kayihura, the police was clearly partisan and favoured NRM. The force could be excused because Gen. Kayihura was an NRM cadre and an army officer whose mandate might have been to ensure opposition blackout.

In a true democratic society, police should not elect to disrupt only meetings organized by political opponents of the president. Their concern should be keeping the peace. Police ought to change the way they disperse crowds. It is done in a fit of anger. It is difficult to fathom what piques police’s anger.

They disperse crowds by firing live bullets and tear gas canisters. They end up grievously harming people, even by standers. Why use lethal guns on unarmed crowds! Police ought to be reminded that The Human Rights (enforcement) Act places the liability of human rights abuse on the actual culprits and not the police force. So police ought to be agents of peace and not chaos.

Comments

0 #1 Richard 2020-01-08 23:28
Bobi wine must file a case against these individual DPCs together with Ochola and Sabiti.

However, even if the case is not heard now as it is likely, it will be opened in the future because M7 will not live forever.

NRM is creating havoc for its members in the future for what they are doing to the Opposition.
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+4 #2 Lysol 2020-01-10 23:14
God does not like ugly, Mr potatoes nose.
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0 #3 Kirya 2020-01-10 23:43
My country is just Trump said a sit hole made by Museveni and his group of bushmen.

They talk of liberation war that delivered them from poverty! They have milked the cow without nourishing the cow! The generals do not want to leave power in peace because most of them are not educated can not go into exile!

Uganda is fed up with these thieves who have turned the country into a junkyard an d created a corrupt society and musicians who sing songs of praise of m7 to deviate attention away from the looters and and steal native's land! m7 look at your time . It says time to leave and make way for the young generation.
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0 #4 Kirya 2020-01-13 06:49
The problems of Africa are created by Africans who sit by and let the thugs leaders run the country to the dog house as if they are caring for animals.

Ugandans should be shamed of the bushmen who seized power to enrich themselves. These animals have nothing to offer Uganda. The country must raise up and kick them out of office.

All peace loving natives join the young;s man cause to dislodge m7 and his thieving club. Demand a fair election , speak up, protest and boycott the shops that promote or support m7.
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